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Now What?

Updated: Feb 3

January 15, 2023— Having been dunked in water for a few seconds, whether it was a pool, a river, a lake or even the ocean, you arise a new person, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, many are left wondering, or should be considering, “Now what?” For the former life of ourselves ends with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our savior, and we are reborn “a new creation” as Paul stated in his letter to the church in Corinth. No, your debts are still present, and certain things linger but the new creation is the change in your characteristics and your outlook in life. For certain habits must die and be replaced with a righteous character and through the Holy Spirit you will be able to discern evil from good, not by the world’s view, but of God’s view.


Therefore, you arise out of the water renewed in spirit, rebuking your flesh, but what happens after your baptism? Beloved, your Christian journey is just beginning. Here are some things that you need to do.


Repent

Technically, you should have repented from your sins at the time you accepted Jesus Christ, but we are human and we need to work on ourselves every day. In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, Paul states that everyone commits sin, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Notice how Paul writes this in a past tense? This is because you are to walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh when you have been baptized. However, you will still sin especially if you walk in the flesh, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16).


Pray

When the disciples asked Jesus Christ how to pray (Luke 11:1), Jesus Christ tells us to pray in our rooms, shutting the door behind ourselves, and to “pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6). In the next verse of Matthew, Jesus also instructed the disciples not to use “vain repetitions as the heathen do,” because “your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8). Then, Jesus told the disciples, “In this manner, therefore pray” (Matthew 6:9):


Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13


Paul said to, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Through Jesus’s example, and Paul’s ministry, we know that we should constantly pray. Having a good prayer life builds a relationship with God. To start, try praying at least once a day, find a way to build it into your schedule and your day. Personally, I pray in my home office, or in the car. My office is bright and I really enjoy my time with God in that room, and no, I do not close my eyes while I am driving.


In prayer, you pray for yourself, your needs, your family, and your friends. Since Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, pray for your enemies as well (Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27, 35). Pray for believers and non-believers alike. For those that you are praying for you can pray for healing, deliverance, salvation, and blessings. Pray to walk continually in the path that leads you to God. If you cannot think of anything or anyone to pray for, start worshipping God and the Holy Spirit will give you utterance.



A man praying in church
Prayer is a powerful tool for Christians to build their relationship with God. Use it everyday. Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

Worship

Worshipping God is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Bow down on the ground. Do not bow down before a pet, a deity or a statue or anything along those lines. It is best to bow down before a blank wall.

  2. While bowed down, close your eyes, and sing to God. Sing what is on your heart.

  3. Keep singing until you feel the Holy Spirit moving. Hallelujah!

One morning, I was in the house by myself, and I had no idea what to pray for. It had been a while (too long actually) that I had last worshipped the Lord. I bowed down and began singing “Goodness to God” but nothing was happening. Then, I heard God instruct me to cover myself with a blanket. I did, and I began signing another song. That is when the Holy Spirit gave me utterance, and I prayed for a move of the Holy Spirit within America, and that He pours the Holy Spirit over everyone in my country. I also prayed in tongues about this article. Hallelujah!


Obey Jesus’s Teachings

Obeying Jesus’s teachings show your love for Him. The Holy Bible says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21). In addition, Paul states that as Christians “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20) and we must act as Jesus instructed us every day of our lives.


One of the things that Jesus taught about is sin in the Old Testament, but then He took it a step further. A known example of this is when He spoke about adultery and lust, You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28).


Jesus’s teachings did not stop at lust and sin. One day, Jesus astounded the Sadducees regarding the resurrection, and the Pharisees heard about this event as Jesus silencing the Sadducees (Matthew 22:23-34). A lawyer who was also a Pharisee asked Jesus Christ a question to test Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law” (Matthew 22:36).

Jesus Christ responded to Him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40). Since these two commandments “hang all the Law and the Prophets” loving one another even your enemies (as stated previously) are important to God and even for you.


Get in the Word

Learn about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit by getting into the word of God. This means simply to read the Holy Bible every day. Before you read, pray to God to send you the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding so you can interpret the word correctly. Try to commit some simple verses to memory. Use a notebook, cell phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or e-notebook to take down notes. Keep a journal with you and write down the revelations that the Holy Spirit gives to you. I take note of cross references within the Holy Bible as well because scripture interrupts scripture. For example, in John 7:24 says, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement.” My cross-reference notes say to compare this verse with Matthew 7:1-6 and Proverbs 31:9.

Speak

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave His disciples one last commandment which is referred to as The Great Commission. Jesus told His disciples to spread the news of Jesus Christ as the savior, to tell people to repent from their sins, and to baptize people. Here are direct quotes from the gospels:


And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20


And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mark 16-18


Fast

Fasting can be extremely difficult, but it is absolutely necessary for casting out demons, and it draws us near to God as a sign of guilt or repentance. Fasting moves the heart of God, “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping and mourning.” (Joel 2:12).


One large movement of fasting is documented as the book of Esther during the Babylonian Exile. This movement was a reaction to Haman the Agagite’s words to the king that would become a decree. One Jew, Mordecai, refused to bow before Haman who served the king on a high seat. This angered Haman and in response, Haman spoke words to persecute the Jews and told King Ahasuerus that the Jews have different laws and do not keep the King’s laws and that they should be destroyed. Haman’s words became a decree allowing the persecution of the Jews in the kingdom. After hearing of this decree, the Jews in the city of Shushan (where the king lived) began fasting and weeping and mourning.


This regional act, caused God to hear their cry, moving the spirit of King Ahasuerus to be willing to grant a petition to his queen. Queen Esther was a Jew though he had not known that she was a Jew until after the decree when out. It allowed for Haman the Agagite to be hung due to his deceit against the king to issue the decree to persecute the Jews. After he was hung the king granted Queen Esther another petition which was to write a decree as they wish concerning the Jews. The decree allowed the Jews to protect themselves against the persecutors and they destroyed the persecutors. (See book of Esther).

Accepting Jesus

Beloved, the Holy Spirit was speaking to me as I wrote this article and let me tell you this:


We are children of God, and it is by our faith that we know that Jesus came in the flesh as God the Father and as the Son of God, and He taught us God’s laws. Then, taking the cross to Calvary, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was crucified, and in His death on that cross, He paid our sin debt. Yet, Jesus Christ defeated death, and was resurrected for forty days, then ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God and even in heaven, Jesus is still working for His father’s will. Hallelujah!


We know that by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior He will send the helper, the Holy Spirit. All that He asks of us, is that we believe in Jesus Christ as our savior, and that we obey His teachings, and that we spread the news of the gospel.


If you are ready to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, say this prayer aloud:


God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!


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